While reviewing some materials from a workshop, I came across a few online gems this week to add to the SciLinks keyword assessment. Even some of the experienced teachers in the workshop had to stop and think about the differences between analytic and holistic rubrics. We were guided to Jon Mueller’s page on Rubrics for a clear and concise discussion, with examples.
Creating analytic rubrics (which include both criteria and descriptions of the levels of performance for each) can be a time-consuming effort (but worth it). The Rubric Maker website looks like a good tool. The full version requires a subscription (for a fee). But there is a free version, the difference being that the finished rubric cannot be saved on the website or shared via the website. It can be downloaded as an Excel or HTML file that maintains the formatting, and the Excel version can be further revised/edited. Once you enter a grade span (Primary, Elementary, Middle, High) and a title, you’re able to choose criteria and descriptors. You can edit most of these to use your own terminology or performance levels. A nice feature is that it also creates a student “checklist” with a description of each criteria (e.g., I proposed a hypothesis that can be tested by my experiment. I followed safety rules.) This would be really helpful to share with the students. There are other rubric generators on the web, such as Rubistar, which requires a free registration. You can create, save, and print a variety of customized rubrics right from the website.
When I got home from the workshop, I poked around the rest of Dr. Mueller’s site, the Authentic Assessment Toolbox. My reaction was WOW—this is a wonderful tutorial or guide through the process of creating assessments that are based on identified standards/objectives. He writes in a conversational style and includes lots of examples and a glossary of assessment terms. I really enjoyed reading the “Workshops” section which are basically think-alouds as he “converses” with a teacher and guides them through the process.
Exploring these resources could easily be a professional development project on assessment or the development of common rubrics.